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12/27/2012 12:38 PM
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Swimmers Ride Dying Whale in Florida (Video) Swimmers Ride Dying Whale in FloridaFederal officials are on the lookout for two swimmers who rode a dying whale in Florida. Witnesses saw two people climb on top of a sperm whale that later died and the swimmers could face a misdemeanor conviction for harassing the animal.
A Florida resident noticed two men riding on the back of the sperm whale on Sunday morning. The resident even caught them on camera. A few hours later, the whale was dead.
The whale was likely already dying when the swimmers decided to ride it, but their actions probably didn't help the creature and harassing a marine mammal is a crime in itself. Those caught breaking the law could face up to a year in jail and a fine up to $100,000.
"This whale was likely ill or injured and that is why it came in so close to shore,' Blair Mase, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's southeast regional stranding coordinator told NBC. "This type of harassment could have caused more harm and added stress to an already stressed whale and ultimately caused its demise," Mase continued.
Read more at [link to www.travelerstoday.com